Sunday 9 June 2013

White Scar - Paddling about in Yorkshire

After a fun couple of days doing Alumn Pot on the Friday and Swinsto pull through on Saturday, it was time to head off for breakfast at Inglesport before our White Scar trip.
After a mile or so I noticed a grinding noise which was getting louder by the minute and finally went bang. In the side mirror I just got a chance to see bits flying every which way before I registered that it was most likely the brake pads going to pieces!
Gently I coaxed the van to Ingleton and decided there wasn't much I could do about it till later so enjoyed a hearty breakfast before making my way up and down the steep hills to White Scar trying to use engine braking and gentle application of the hand brake.
At the cave we split in to three groups with Ben, Carl and Grant forming the first team, Bartek, Paulina, Chloe, and Brendan in the second and Keith, myself, Heather, Becca and Ian in the last.
White Scar has a very unusual raised scaffold floor in its show cave and gives a true feeling of being in a 'wild' cave rather than just a walk about. Before heading in we took a detour to take in 'Battlefield Cavern' before heading to the lakes.
Keith took a little video on the way in and after a real soaking I lead us in to the boulder choke only to miss the way through. Keith shortly arrived and after a quick poke around spotted the climb up. On the way in we went through the Big Bertha duck and after another soaking were soon heading down some pleasant stream passage with the occasional boulder climb. We reached a slippery climb up to a pretty straw chamber where Keith joined me via a climb assisted by an ancient looking piece of tat. Then Becca decided to have a go. Keith has somewhat longer legs than Becca, so a move he had made look easy for Becca was impossible and she found herself dangling on the end of the rope until Keith reached down and lifted her up to the muddy ledge. After this again it was easy stream passage till we met the lads at a ledge where they were having fun and games jumping in a deep pool. Passing this the cave changes character and a fine scalloped ceiling drops to almost meet the water where a few hundred meters is easier swam than crawled and the occasional duck just adds to the fun. On the way to the sump we passed Brendan's party on their return. After a quick peek at the uninviting but free diveable sump we again paused to take a little video before retracing our footsteps. On the return we went for the awkward climb out rather than the duck and were soon back in the sunshine.
After a cuppa and cake in the cafe we all said our goodbyes and headed off.
Without brakes I made short work of the journey home, in fact there was no stopping me!

Present: Ben Marklew, Grant Wilkes, Carl Knott, Heather Simpson, Bartek and Paulina Biela, Becca Kirkpatrick, Ian Millward, Chloe Burney, Keith Edwards, Brendan Marris and Mark Burkey

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